December 1, 2022

Town of Scarborough Newsletter

Gingerbread cookies, decorative lights, homemade gifts...the holiday season has begun! No matter how you celebrate, this is a time to hunker down for the long winter ahead and have some fun along the way. Read on for upcoming holiday reminders, events, and programs. It's also the season of cold temps, so we have some energy saving tips for you too. Lastly, take note of the many updates on what's happening in Scarborough.


There are a lot of dates to save from this email! If this gets lost in your inbox, check the Town News page of our website at any time for the highlights and most recent newsletter.

Get Ready for Winter Weather

Sign up for CodeRED Alerts

As we head into the winter storm season, one way to prepare is signing up for our Town's CodeRED computer alert system. It is used to quickly notify large groups of people for emergency situations like criminal activity, severe weather, road closures, evacuations, and missing persons. It's free and secure to sign up for cell phone alerts. Select how to receive alerts: text, phone call and/or email. Help us keep you informed and safe by signing up for CodeRED.


Winter Preparedness Tips from Public Works

Snow will come any day now! Here are some reminders from Public Works:

• Keep edge of the roadways clear (at least 12-15 feet from the edge of the pavement) for plowing.

• Do not shovel or snowblow into the roadways.

• Be aware of and abide by parking bans.

• Place your trash and recycle carts in your driveway, not on the roadside.

• Put snow tires on your car. Drive slowly and safely.

• Get your snowblower ready to go.


Final Day: Senior Property Tax Stabilization Program

Today is the application deadline for the new Senior Stabilization program. The law went into effect in August and allows certain senior residents to stabilize, or freeze, the property taxes on their homestead. An applicant must be at least 65 years old, a permanent resident of the State, and must have owned a Maine homestead for at least ten years. Program details and eligibility requirements are available on our website. Mail your application (postmarked by today) or submit in person to the Assessing office in Town Hall (lowest level) before 4:00pm today.


Online Payments: New Look, Same Service

If you make real estate or personal property tax payments on our website, you'll notice a new look when you head online. We've changed to Paymentus as our new processor, launching today, December 1. There will be no changes to how to use the site, but please note that we will no longer be able to offer scheduled out payments. To access online bill pay for real estate and personal property taxes, please visit


Register/Renew Your Dog License

It's time to register/renew your dog license for 2023! Register or renew your dog license in person at the Clerk's office or online. All dog renewals must be completed by January 31, 2023. There is an additional $25 fee starting February 1st. To receive a license for your dog, please come into the Town Clerk's Office at Town Hall during our business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm (first and third Wednesday until 6:00 p.m.). Licenses are valid through December 31, 2023.

Save Time, Renew Your Dog License Online

Register or renew your dog license online through the State of Maine website. If you register your dog[s] online, you will receive your tag[s] at the beginning of the next month.


Why license my dog? Dog licensing is a Maine state law and ensures rabies vaccination, which protects the health of your pet. Additionally, by licensing your dog you are directly fighting animal cruelty and abuse. Up to 90% of dog license fees go directly to the Maine Animal Welfare Program. Dog license fees account for 95% of the State Animal Welfare Program’s entire funding and without these fees, the State would be unable to protect the animals of this state.

Get Festive! Upcoming Holiday Events for the Family

This Saturday: Santa in the Park Drive Through

Santa in the Park Drive Through

Saturday, December 3, 6:00-7:30pm


Scarborough Community Services, Police, and Fire will welcome St. Nick to town along with local groups and businesses—and we want you to join us! This is a great way to kick off the holiday season right from the warmth of your car. Start at the Library and weave through the school and municipal campus to Memorial Park. Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves will be there to greet you!

The Scarborough Rotary Club will be along the route to receive non-perishable food items. All items will be donated to the Scarborough Food Pantry.

Tune into 105.5 FM and celebrate with our community friends along the way.

Gingerbread House Night

Friday, December 16, 6:00-8:00pm

$20 per gingerbread house

Gather the family and get creative by decorating a gingerbread house to get ready for the holidays! House will come pre-assembled. Decorating materials, crafts, and refreshments will be provided. Register soon!


Just Released: Winter 2022-23 Program Brochure

The Winter 2022-23 brochure is here! Check out all the upcoming programs for our 55+, Adult, Teen, Youth programs and Special Events. Here are some upcoming highlights:

• Christmas Lights Ride (Seniors, 12/19 and 12/21)

• Santa’s Tasty Treats Workshop (Grades 1-5, 12/22)

• Family Magic Show (12/29) & Magic Workshop (Ages 5-12, 12/29 before show)

• Couples' Ballroom Dance Lessons (Adult, Begins 1/11)

Find full descriptions and details in the winter brochure.


Scarborough Community Services is located at the Hub, 418 Payne Road. They also offer services like passport renewal and child care.

Read the Latest Board & Committee Newsletter

This summer, we sent our first Board & Committee Newsletter to highlight the critical work happening in our citizen-led committees. We sent another newsletter this week to show the progress that has been made as the year comes to an end. Take a look at the updates to learn more about land being conserved, renewable energy initiatives, Planning Board developments, transportation projects, and more.

Join a Town Committee

There is no better time for you, too, to join a committee, as terms are soon to expire for several committee members. See a list of all boards and committees, and complete an application on our website. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by our Appointments & Negotiations committee. Thank you for your interest.


Start Your Career with Scarborough Police

The Scarborough Police Department is seeking motivated people to be part of their growing department, serving 21,000+ residents. Build or continue your career as a Patrol Officer. We offer a four-day work week, competitive starting salary, and comprehensive benefits package. Or pursue a career as a Public Safety Dispatcher serving the Towns of Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach and Buxton. 

For more Patrol Officer information, a tour, or to schedule a ride along please contact Lieutenant Scott Vaughan at or 207-730-4304.

To learn more about a career in emergency communications or to tour our Center, please call Emergency Communications Manager Joseph Thornton, (207)730-4352 or email 


Scarborough Police Partners with Project GRACE

Scarborough Police Department is teaming up with our community nonprofit Project GRACE to spread some holiday cheer this December. Along with volunteers, they will serve as "Santa's elves", collecting gifts for children over the next couple of weeks through Scarborough Community Santa. Children living in Scarborough (age 18 or younger) are eligible for a presents from Santa. Presents will be available for curbside pick up from Public Safety on Wednesday, December 21. Use this form to sign up. Please sign up before December 10 so our elves have plenty of time to get presents.


Save the Date: December 17 Food Drive

Scarborough Police Department and Project GRACE will also be holding a community food drive on Saturday, December 17 from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Public Safety Building. Please start collecting items for drop off during this time. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. More information about both of these endeavors will be made available on the Scarborough Police Department Facebook page. Give them a "Like"!


Retired Chiefs Honored with Bench Dedication

On Friday, November 18, the Public Safety team and Town staff gathered to present retired Fire Chief, B. Michael Thurlow with a granite bench in the Public Safety Building front garden. This bench will forever be a reminder of Chief Thurlow’s 46+ years of care and commitment to our Fire department and his home community. The bench is set alongside retired Police Chief Robbie Moulton's bench and prominently marks two true titans of public safety. We thank them both for their service and encourage you to take a look at the benches the next time you pass by.

Save Money & Stay Warm This Winter

Efficiency Maine administers programs to improve the efficiency of energy use and reduce greenhouse gases in Maine. There is currently a DIY Winter Prep Rebate of up to $100 available to Maine residents through the end of the year. Eligible products are weather stripping; window and door caulking; spray foam sealant; window insulation shrink kits; pipe insulation; duct insulation; duct sealant; tank wrap; and foam board insulation.

Eligible products must have been purchased between October 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022. Keep your receipts and complete the rebate form on their website. Find additional winterization/money saving resources on their website as well.


Tips from Scarborough's Sustainability Committee

The Scarborough Sustainability Committee and Scarborough Conservation Commission attended a Project GRACE Winterization Workshop at the Library a couple of weeks ago. They shared some helpful tips and resources for keeping warm and saving money this winter. Here are a few ideas:

Council Corner: My Introduction to Town Council

By Karin Shupe, Town Council

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council.

I am excited to begin my work as Scarborough’s newest Town Councilor. I want to thank the Scarborough residents for entrusting me with this role. When I moved to Scarborough 17 years ago, I knew it was something special. I feel fortunate to be raising my children in such a beautiful area. As a family, we have enjoyed exploring every park, trail, and beach this town has to offer.  

I first began volunteering for the Town over 8 years ago when I joined the Zoning Board of Appeals. Since then, I have served on various Boards for the Town, most recently Planning Board. My involvement in these Boards has helped me see some of the challenges ahead.  

In 2021, the Town Council did a town wide survey and gave our residents the chance to share their concerns and priorities. Almost 2/3 of Scarborough residents indicated they are dissatisfied with the pace and management of growth in our Town. I think we can do better at balancing the management of new growth with the ability to make investments that meet the needs of our existing residents. Developing a strong capital improvement plan would help the town be smarter about growth and ensure we have an appropriate plan in place. 

As we continue to grow, we need to give more consideration to conservation and land preservation so we can better prepare ourselves for the rising sea levels and the impacts it can have on a coastal community like ours. We are home to the largest salt water marsh in the State. As a town we have an obligation to protect this natural resource and plan for the future.

One goal we can set as a Town is to conserve 30% of our land by 2030. Coined “30x30”, this national movement is part of a comprehensive strategy to combat climate change, and its implementation in Scarborough would further benefit our town and its residents.

The 2021 Town-wide survey also told us that over half of Scarborough residents indicated their top choice of investments was a community center. As one of the largest municipalities in the State, a community center is needed. However, we are currently faced with a crisis in our primary schools and middle school. And this is not a new crisis. We have three aging primary schools, each over 57+ years old, that are overcapacity compared to State-required space minimums of 140 square feet/student. The entire 6th grade for the town of Scarborough has been in portables for two decades. Across our schools we have students in 30 portables that are all beyond their life expectancy. This is a situation we can longer ignore. You can learn more at the Scarborough Schools' Building Committee page.

I am looking forward to serving the residents of Scarborough for the next three years and welcome you to reach out to me or to any of my fellow councilors with any questions and concerns.


Scarborough Town Council

John Cloutier, Chair • Jonathan Anderson • Jean-Marie Caterina • Don Hamill • Nick McGee • Karin Shupe • April Sither

Town Council meets the first and third Wednesday of each month. Visit our online calendar for links to attend and view agendas.

Upcoming Program: Big Trees of New England

Big Trees of New England

Monday, December 5, 6:00pm

This is a collaborative program presented by the Scarborough Land Trust and Friends of Scarborough Marsh.

Wooden boatbuilder, outdoorsman and Big Tree Program measurer, Kevin Martin, will be showing and discussing these trees as described in his new book Big Trees of Northern New England. Hear how he got involved with finding the trees, how lumber from similar trees is used in his boatbuilding work, and how wildlife use these impressive parts of our landscape. The discussion will cover trees on public land in the region, and where they are located so you can go see them for yourself. City tours are also described. He will highlight some trees local to the Portland-Scarborough area.  

Books will be available for sale after the presentation for those interested. Kevin will also be available to answer questions and sign books.

Scarborough Public Library News

Sketch Yourself a Merry Holiday Art Sale

Saturday, December 3, 10:00am-12:00pm

Stop by the library on Saturday morning, meet the Sketchers, and shop for a few holiday gifts created by our fabulous Library Sketching Group. Holiday and other cards, fabric wallets and other creations, small prints, gift tags, paintings, and much more will be on display and for sale.

The BIG Read Book Discussion

Wednesday, December 7, 6:00pm

Join us for an all ages, student-led community/family book discussion at Scarborough Public Library. The award-winning title, A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger draws on traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure to weave an unforgettable tale of monster, magic and family. We are very excited to co-host this discussion including middle school students and their families and friends of all ages with Scarborough Middle School's school librarian, Jennifer Bishop. There continue to be many ways to access the book from the middle school and from the library! Families and the larger community can check out the title in print or through Scarborough Public Library's CloudLibrary with no waitlists.


Monday – 9am to 5pm • Tuesday – 9am to 7pm • Wednesday – 9am to 7pm • Thursday – 9am to 7pm • Friday – 9am to 5pm • Saturday – 9am to 5pm • Sunday – Closed

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